DIY curtain lengthening {west elm}.

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{our living room in 2012 – this picture is SO dark, long before I knew how PhotoShop!}

Three years ago I finally bit the bullet & hung the BEST curtains in our living room {see that post here}. It was my first real trek into window coverings, & I was so excited about having these beautiful, long, perfectly-pooled curtains {they are these ones from West Elm in 108″ length}. Fast-forward to our house remodel & despite my best efforts to keep these curtains out of the construction zone, they ended up needing cleaned before being hung back up. During that cleaning (a cold wash cycle) they shrunk a few inches. Boo. Then we had to have the curtains cleaned again after I over-boiled my pump parts & caused some smoke damage, & when we got the curtains back & hung, they were so, so short! Like high-water pants short (about 4 inches off the ground). It was awful. I was so embarrassed every time someone came over, & even though not a lot of people probably even noticed, I knew they knew. I didn’t even take a picture. Seriously. Just trust me that they were short enough that it seemed like I didn’t know what I was doing – I promise I know curtain lengths!

Any-hoo, this post is not about never washing your curtains or being mad at West Elm for having magically shrinking curtains (nope, I could never hate West Elm!), this is a post about how I made my curtains longer so they perfectly pool on the ground again!

Over months, I thought about how I could add length to the curtains (rather than replacing ALL of them – eek!) but was caught up on what fabric I would use. Fabric shopping is super tricky these days with a toddler in tow, plus I wanted to make sure the fabric was the right weight & color. Then I had an epiphany: why not just buy one curtain panel, cut it up, & sew pieces to each of the curtain panels? Genius! Plus, my mama gave me the idea to add the length to the top of the curtain, rather than to the bottom (so there wouldn’t be a weird break in the fabric as it hit the ground). So that’s what I did & the bonus was that West Elm frequently marks curtains down 20% (so take note if you are in the market for curtains).

This was my basic plan & it worked! I ripped out the top seam of the hidden tabs on the back of the curtain, & then cut off the bottoms of the tabs right at the seam. Then I cut a 7 inch piece of the extra curtain panel, hemmed the top edge to include the tops of the curtain tabs, then sewed it to the top of the old curtain panel, & finally I sewed the bottom of each tab down. This way the curtain hung in the exact same way as it did before & I didn’t have to cut & sew all of those tabs! I didn’t make an effort to try to match up the patterns on the old curtain panel & the new piece; even if I was that good of a seamstress, I probably would have needed another curtain panel.

In hindsight, I should have added an inch or two more, but I was worried at that point about adding too much length! This is a super simple project that took me just two days’ worth of naps (about 4 hours) & you can’t even tell that I added any fabric!

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have you ever had issues with curtain length or is it just me?

M

catalog feature {west elm}.

as some of you know {from our christmas letter or instagram & twitter} our living room had a small feature in the january west elm catalog. to say I am ecstatic is an understatement! thank you also to all of you who have shown your support – we feel very loved!

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{if you are interested, here is the living room post featuring our west elm curtains & the dining room update featuring our chandelier.}

thanks west elm!

do you ever give a shout-out to companies you love? have you ever felt the love in return?

M

highlights of 2013.

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happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.

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february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!

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march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.

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april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!

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may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.

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june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!

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seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.

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august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

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september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.

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october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.

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november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.

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december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.

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reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?

M

see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

my weekend in pictures.

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{after a fun morning of catching up & crafting, my friend brenda & I popped into west elm. there was a pop-up shop with a few etsy sellers. & cupcakes!}

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{saturday night date at boom noodle wouldn’t have been the same without a s’more crepe!}

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{amanda & I did a crafternoon on sunday that included gold paint & glitter. I can’t wait to show you what we were up to!}

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{sunday night dinner was thai take-out since we were too busy to get to the store this weekend. no complaints here.}

I apologize for the complete lack of pictures for this weekend post. I had two weekend craft dates & lots of time spent catching up with friends – it was lovely! throw in a good barre workout, a date with my husband & you’ve got yourself a pretty great weekend. how was your weekend?

M

west elm kitchen light pendants.

after i did the big kitchen update last spring, i wanted to live in the space & use it for a while before we did any other big updates. i have always disliked the lighting in the kitchen – track lights – and i had big plans for an update to them. luckily for us we were able to upgrade without bringing in an electrician – hooray!

i have been searching for light fixtures for months, & fell in love with these globe pendants some time ago. they are from, you guessed it, west elm! {this is my go-to place for anything home décor! the best i tell you!} while the junction boxes – is that what they are called – aren’t perfectly located {i would have preferred them closer together & centered over our kitchen island} these lights are far better than the old track lighting!

you can shop for your own here: west elm globe pendant.

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we still need to patch up the holes from the track lights & find round, frosted bulbs {right now we have frosted LEDs that have a weird plastic top}, but overall we are very excited about these lights – such an improvement!

{in the bottom two pictures it looks like there are two bulbs in each pendant, but it is just a reflection off of the glass}

have you been changing out any light fixtures lately?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{good things come in west elm packages. so excited to share what is in these boxes – post should be up wednesday!}

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{a much-needed mani & pedi to end the work week.}

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{its funny how everything you order online all arrives on the same day.}

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{in a bit of a role reversal, i taped up the windows & aaron varnished the back doors.}

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{mmm… which wich!}

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{sadie & i were meditating in the sun. #ohm}

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{we took my grandmother to chipotle for the first time – she loved it!}

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{we went to see this is the end since it was getting really good reviews. #worstmovieever}

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{some of our neighbors have the most beautiful flowers. #iwishihadagreenthumb}

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{we found a new part of ravenna park this morning. sadie enjoyed the new sights & smells!}

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{don’t aaron & sadie look stoked to be at anthro with me?}

we had a fun weekend & finally got a few in progress projects completed, but boy did these last two days fly by! why do the weekends always go so much faster than the week days? how was your weekend?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{feeling some love on friday from a west elm instagram shout-out.}

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{we had a donut date at top pot on national donut day. did you partake?}

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{we walked by cowen park on our way home from the u-district farmer’s market & sadie really wanted to see what was going on.}

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{another round of peonies from a local garden – i just can’t get enough.}

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{we also splurged on some local strawberries – so delish!}

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{sadie waiting patiently for aaron to tell her she can get her treats.}

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{we had dinner on saturday at urbane in downtown with a good friend.}

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{the new star trek, but not in 3D. i liked it.}

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{on sunday i introduced amanda to potbelly sandwich shop in bellevue. then we went antiquing. thanks for a fun afternoon amanda!}

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{i finally got out the iron. i have decided i need to iron about twice a year, unless i really need something specific. any tips on how to get ironing done more frequently?}

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{late sunday run to target – always a good time!}

we had a nice sunny weekend but i can’t believe it is already over! does time seem to be flying to anyone else? i just can’t keep up. we have been enjoying the summer-ish weather in seattle as well as the local, summer produce that is finally springing up in the local markets. we decided to buy into a CSA this summer {community supported agriculture} which means every week we get a bag full of fresh, local, organic produce for a mere $15 a week! we are excited to be supporting local farmers, eating seasonally, & pushing ourselves to cook & eat different veggies we may not normally pick. wish us luck! how was your weekend?

M